"The pleasant spa town of Bad Kreuznach, astride the River Nahe in the rolling farmland of southwestern Germany, was until a few years ago best known for its American army base and its fine local Riesling. But the Americans have since moved away, the economic blow only partly softened by the expansion of a local Michelin plant. This year's grape harvest has been threatened by downpours of near-biblical proportions.
And now, Bad Kreuznach finds itself at the centre of one of the most bizarre, high-profile murder mysteries in the country's history - the search for an apparent serial killer whom police and prosecutors call, simply, 'The Woman Without a Face'. They have no fingerprints to go on. No witnesses. No description. What they do have is a trail of DNA, now stretching back 15 years and across three countries - as well as a grisly new reason to put a face to her double helix. A case that had for years been gnawingly disturbing, yet still fairly obscure, has leapt on to the front pages of German newspapers. For it appears now that the mystery woman may not only be a killer, but a cop-killer."